Orange County, CA- This has been a tough year for tech start-ups when it comes to the treatment female employees are subjected. Since the beginning of 2014, several tech sites have been hit with sexual harassment lawsuits, and now real-estate database, Zillow, can add their name to the list.
On Monday, a former employee for the Seattle-based company filed a sexual harassment suit, claiming she was subjected to “despicable” sexual harassment while working in one of the company’s Orange County, California offices.
In her suit, Rachel Kremer alleges that Zillow management runs the business like “an adult frat house.” The lawsuit, appearing on Gawker, states that Zillow employees, agents and representatives “made sexual advances, solicitations, sexual requests, demands for sexual compliance” engaged in inappropriate behaviors that were pervasive and severe.
In one incident, Kremer, who was a salesperson, needed to change a password and requested the help of the company’s IT guy. In response to Kremer’s request, the IT guy suggested her new password be a picture of her breasts.
In another incident, one of Kremer’s supervisors invited her out to a club via text message and made a reference to her “smooth vagina,” and repeatedly solicited her for sex.
Kremer’s lawsuit equates the treatment she received with sexual torture.
Zillow released a statement which said the company doesn’t tolerate sexual harassment of any kind and said the behavior detailed on the lawsuit did not mesh with the company’s mission.
Zillow is just the latest in a list of tech companies to come under fire for the way female employees are treated.
Very recently, Whitney Wolfe, a co-founder of dating site Tinder settled a million dollar lawsuit against the company for enduring inappropriate behavior from the company’s CEO and CFO. Wolfe alleged both men called her a slut in front of other employees and discriminated against her because she is a woman.
In March, a female Yahoo executive, was accused of coercing a female subordinate into engaging in a sexual relationship with her by promising to further her career and threatening to have her work visa taken away. This case is still ongoing.
In April, the female CEO of Github, Julie Ann Hovrath filed a workplace harassment suit against the company’s founder alleging he made numerous sexual advances towards her and when she complained she alleges she was subjected to retaliation. The Github founder was eventually forced to resign.
Being the object of sexual harassment can be embarrassing and humiliating to the victim. They are often reluctant to come forward with their complaints because they fear their allegations will be dismissed or they will be subjected to further harassment and retaliation. When these victims have a sexual harassment attorney on their side, they don’t have to fear retaliation and can rest easy knowing someone is working to protect them from a hostile work environment.
If you are being harassed on the job, contact one of our highly-skilled sexual harassment attorneys to get you the compensation you deserve.